Howard Hanna Professionals
Lady Hornets hold on to top Troy

Lady Hornets hold on to top Troy

By: Ed Weaver  /  February 8, 2017

The Wellsboro Varsity Girls Basketball team held on to beat Troy 46-43 in their final regular season game on Tuesday, February 7.

The Lady Hornets won their 4th game in a row by getting an early start from sisters Lizzie Poirier and Emma Poirier. Both scored 4 early points to take an early 8-0 before Troy got on the scoreboard off a Morgan Gentile putback. Wellsboro closed out the opening quarter on a three-pointer from Lizzie Poirier to make it 13-2.

Wellsboro built their lead to 17-7 with just over 3:30 left to play in the second before Troy started heating up. Lizzie Poirier made putback layup and a Gentile three cut the score to 19-12. The Lady Trojans got 5 points from Madison McClelland, 4 from Carla Proto and Sam Gentile to finish the quarter on a 7-4 run and outscore Wellsboro 17-10 to cut the halftime score to 23-19 in favor of the Lady Hornets.

Senior Autum Kitajima did an excellent job of limiting Morgan Gentile, the NTL's leading scorer (25+ ppg), to just 6 first-half points, but Troy adjusted during the break in play to get the freshman more looks.

Gentile hit an early three just over a minute into the second half to cut the score to 23-22 and both teams continued to fight back and forth. After a Gentile layup and two more foul shots, the Lady Hornets clung to a 29-28 lead until shots by Lizzie Poirier and Kitajima pushed the score back to 34-28 in favor of Wellsboro after the third.

Troy cut the lead to 34-31 after a Gentile three-point play, then she later cut the score to 34-33 after hitting two foul shots with 6:19 remaining. A Lizzie Poirier mid-range jumper made it 36-34, but McClelland tied the game up at 36-36 on the jumper from the left wing. Wellsboro ran the lead back up to 44-38 with 2:00 remaining, but Gentile drove on Kitajima and got fouled while making the basket, but missed the foul shot to make the score 44-40.

Emma Poirier scored Wellsboro's final points on a layup to make it 46-40. After a failed trip down the court after Poirier's layup, Troy got the ball back on an alternate jump ball possession after Poirier missed both foul shots. Troy attempted a shot and missed with 36 seconds remaining. After two fouls, Troy again got the ball back as Lizzie Poirier was called for a backcourt violation with 19 seconds remaining, and immediately Gentile hit a three to make it 46-43 with 12.7 seconds remaining. On Wellsboro's next offensive possession, Troy fouled senior Janessa Davis with 8.7 seconds left and sent her to the line. Davis missed both foul shots giving Troy one final attempt to tie the game, but Gentile's three was off the mark.

"They're a dangerous team," said head coach John Davis. "They've played good team close all year long and I knew coming into tonight it was going to be a dogfight. We got up on them early, but they have some good players and made some good shots and for awhile they were dominating us on the boards, they were taking us to the basket and drawing fouls. Thankfully the girls pulled together and we pulled out the 'W'."

Morgan Gentile led all scorers with a game-high 26 points (20 in the second half), McClelland finished with 7, Sam Gentile had 6, and Proto rounded out the scoring with 4.

Lizzie Poirier had a double-double to lead the Lady Hornets with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Rachael Tuttle also recorded a double-double with 10 points and 18 rebounds, and Emma Poirier also scored in double figures with 10 points. Davis and Kitajima rounded out the scoring with 4 and 3 points, respectively.

Davis and Kitajima both recorded 5 assists, Tuttle and Kitajima each had 3 steals, and Emma Poirier and senior Jessica Grab had 3 rebounds each.

Wellsboro won the JV game 34-19 to close their season on a two-game winning streak and a 15-5 record under coach Chelsie Martin. Freshman Cathryn Brought had a game-high 22 points to lead Wellsboro.

The win improves the Lady Hornets' record to 15-7 (14-2 NTL). The girls finish second place overall in the 2016 NTL standings, and have secured the second seed in the 2016 District IV Class AAA playoff rankings behind Mount Carmel (20-1).

Now the focus shifts to the NTL Showdown. The Lady Hornets will travel to Sayre on Thursday, February 9 for a rematch of their January 19 meeting which Sayre won 48-41.

"They're a good team, a sound team, and a very well-coached team," Davis said of Sayre. "It'll be a great springboard for Districts."


About the Author

Ed Weaver Author Bio

Ed Weaver

Ed Weaver is the owner of Circle W Sports in Wellsboro, PA, is the Sports Director for The Home Page Network and the creator of and You can follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

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